Barena Venezia, a small family-run business, has significantly influenced the way men and women dress over the past 27 years. Even before the terms “studied carelessness” and “soft tailoring” became go-to terms for fashion journalists, Barena was showing men how to dress casually with class, using sartorial fabrics for sporty workwear-inspired clothes. Barena maintains the fabric-first ethos it was founded on, each collection, whether for men or women, is built from the ground up, starting with the search for interesting materials, often using original early 20th century patterns from the brand’s now extensive archives.
The brand’s history reaches all the way back to 1961 when its founder, Sandro Zara, got his start in the fashion industry. Zara, a Venetian entrepreneur, began his career as an agent for a textile company. He uncovered original patterns and stitching books, which eventually became the main source for Barena collections. In the late 80s, Zara met Massimo Pigozzo and appointed him as Barena’s creative director, a role he still holds for menswear. The two decided to develop a full collection of menswear, officially founding Barena Venezia in 1993. The brand grew significantly season after season, extending to womenswear in 2010 when Francesca Zara joined the family business as Barena Women’s Creative Director.
Barena draws inspiration from the style of the rural inhabitants of Venice: in fact, Barena derives its name from the term “baro,” which in Italian translates as “emerged land”, a reference to a key feature of the Venetian landscape where both hunting and fishing took place from a slow, flat-bottomed board, the “sanpierotta”, which became the company’s logo. “The main concept comes from the past, from the 19th century when the workwear dress code was “elegance even when we are working the land.’ In fact, countrymen would work the land wearing three-piece suits - jacket, trousers and a waistcoat. Barena is not a sports brand, neither classic nor casual, Barena is the combination of all this.

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